Case Study: Grant Engineering

In the fight against Ransomware, the only guaranteed defence is backup for Grant Engineering

In the fight against Ransomware, the only guaranteed defence is backup for Grant Engineering

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Grant Engineering are the largest distributor of heating and ventilation in the UK. They have over 1TB of business-critical data, three virtual servers, and over 57 workstations. As the company grew, they chose to outsource their IT to a local IT Solutions Provider, Complete I.T.

Like many SMEs, Grant Engineering were using backup tapes to secure their data, and like many SMEs, they found it very hard to manage this effectively.

Once-a-day backup meant their Recovery Point Objective was far too high.

Additionally, their tape vendor would run software updates overnight, without warning. This could cause their backups to fail, so Grant Engineering was regularly in danger of losing 24 hours of data.

Katie Fallon, Grant Engineering’s Financial Controller, oversees many of the businesses’ key functions, including HR and IT. The risk of downtime and the negative effect it would have on the whole business, from sales to shipping, had Fallon – and Complete I.T. – concerned.


At Complete I.T.’s suggestion, Grant Engineering purchased their first Datto device in April 2014, and it immediately began to earn it’s keep.

In July, Grant Engineering was struck by Ransomware. It contaminated every single server within fifteen minutes – despite attempts from Complete I.T. to physically isolate the virus.

However, with Datto, Grant Engineering were able to roll back to an uninfected backup, taken just an hour before. The cybercriminals’ attempts at extortion were thwarted and Grant Engineering were able to return to business.

Sometimes lightning doesn’t just strike the same place twice; sometimes it hits three times. Ransomware comes in many shapes and sizes, which is why companies aren’t affected just once. In fact, 92% of instances are utterly unique – and are never seen on another device – which is why traditional signature-based anti-virus isn’t effective.

Katie said of the incidents,

“we knew where it was coming from – emails.”

Phishing emails, however, are cleverly titled and frequently imitate the domain name of well-known companies such a couriers, or even through known senders who contract zero-day (initially dormant) infections. Attachments titled ‘Invoice’ are wolves in sheep’s clothing.


In the fight against ransomware, the only guaranteed defence is backup. Although it can’t prevent infection, it means that Grant Engineering’s data can be liberated quickly, without paying out to cyber criminals.

“How can you put an accurate cost against downtime? The hassle and worry, the lack of certainty, the delay to our business… it’s so much more than paying a ransom,” said Fallon

The average cost of ransomware-related downtime per affected business is £75,000 – despite an average ransom of £400.

“It takes the sting out of Ransomware,” said Fallon, “just get a box.”

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